Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Sign Off 2008

Last of the Christmas images.

A sunset for the ending year.

The dog's nose. She's wondering, "Is it safe to come out yet? I don't like all the fuss."

Yes, it's the last holiday of 2008. Here's hoping for a creative, productive and jubilant 2009. With many celebrations yet to come, and disappointments few and far between. With all best wishes,


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Dither, dither, dither and why

A Holiday table and some winter views.

What is it about these days between Christmas and New Year's? Is it because it is still the holiday season, yet no longer Christmas? Whatever, many people (myself included) find it difficult to re-focus, re-initiate, re-discipline, or just plain start working.

Especially in the United States, part of the problem may be how the Christmas "season" has gobbled up all the other holidays. There's no distinction between Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Years. Gone are the days when New Year's was a different and unique holiday all its own, with its own traditions.

So we're left with, "Is it over with? Sorta? Maybe? Kinda?" Plus, a real sense of dissociation with regular life that I find most distracting.

Do you struggle with the same sense in these days between Christmas and New Years? Not time to put away the decorations, but time to get back to work? Not time to put away the party outfits, but focus on regular habits? If you don't struggle, great! If you do, what do you that helps?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Times!

To all my friends out there in blogger land, may you have a glorious season!
With all best wishes,

Monday, December 22, 2008

Of Glorious Distractions


is indeed a glorious distraction. It's fun and evocative of all Christmas Past and Christmas Future. It's also busy, frantic, hurry...and regular priorities can and do fall by the wassail side.

So what? Nobody wants to be a Scrooge the entire Christmas season, right? And working all the time is positively counter-productive. Everybody needs a break, what better time than Christmas?

The only problem I've found is too much time away from a work means much more work. Why? Because too much of a total break (as sometimes happens during the holidays) destroys my focus. Plus, I forget too much, drift from where I was headed, and can lose my way--as in, what was I going to write next? What does this note mean? What was the plot flaw and what was my solution?!

So I have to keep working, if only for a few moments a day. Have to stay in the work. Saves time later on, after the holidays.

How about you, dear readers? Can you set your current work down and walk away? Or do you regret it later?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Rule of Odds

Snow this morning.

Christmas Decorations

Yes, it's that season, all right, but the photos above are for another point. There's a subtle difference in the two photos (besides being of different subjects). One is static, the other not. If you look, the picture with three items is more energetic, dynamic, interesting somehow. Some sort of oddity about odd numbers creates this odd effect.

An oddity any writer can use to advantage. Lists of three (as in energetic, dynamic, interesting) are more intriguing than two or four or six. Paragraphs broken into one, three, five and so on, number of sentences moves the reader onto the next paragraph. It even, oddly enough, works with the number of chapters in a novel. Gary Provost pointed out that novels that have odd numbers of chapters are more successful than even numbered.

Why? Perhaps because an even number is a closed, finished, full number, whereas odds are incomplete.

It's odd that just by counting, you can improve your work.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Rainbow Effect

Rainbow on a walk

Kathy of Well Placed Words just posted about gratitude and Dave of Pics and Poems, in his giving me awards also tagged me to tell 7 things about myself that people may not know. I've combined the two so:

I'm grateful for still being able to physically
a. see the end of my nose clearly (with my glasses off)
b. cross my fingers--all 8 of them
c. chew my own toenails if I choose (I don't choose).

And I'm grateful for:
a. my mother not knowing that it was impossible for her to have children because of her autoimmune disease until she had me
b. being born into a world where a 3 pound preemie could survive
c. being born to eccentric, creative parents (growing up, I lived with rocks in the bath tub, buffalo bones on the living room rug and goats in the kitchen--just normal) and having friends and family now who are quirky, creative and supportive souls.

Finally--just an oddity: I'm terrified of moths and grasshoppers, but not afraid of spiders or snakes. Go figure.

So, my dear friends who received blog awards, you're tagged with 7 things people probably don't know about you. And of course, this is totally voluntary, but I'm curious...